Top 10: Motorcycle helmets under £200
Choosing a helmet can feel like a bit of a minefield when you first start riding, so we've compiled the best 10 full face helmets under £200 based on comfort, safety, style and value for money.
AGV K-3 SV
The AGV K-3 SV's shell is constructed from a High Resistant Thermoplastic Resin, which comes in two shell sizes, while the removable and washable interior lining pads are made from Dri-Lex microfibre. The K-3 SV has a four-star (out of five) Sharp rating and comes loaded with handy features that make this a great value helmet. It's comfortable, with a soft lining that beds in with time and it's not terribly heavy.
You get front air intakes along with rear exhausts, a non-scratch, anti-mist, polycarbonate visor (optical class 1) with Pinlock insert and an internal sun visor (hence the SV in the name). There's also a special K-3 vent on the top of the head that’s unique to this lid. Graphics include the usual whites and blacks, as well as Rossi, Guy Martin, Simoncelli etc replicas. Our model is the K-3 SV Replica Mir 2017.
The HJC CS-15 has a polycarbonate shell, and the moisture-wicking Nylex interior pads are removable and washable. It also features an Advanced Channeling Ventilation System (ACS) — closeable forehead and chin vents, plus two rear mesh exhaust vents — so your head won't get too toasty when you're out there policing the Galactic Empire (if you opt for the Limited Edition Stormtrooper option, that is).
The CS-R3 itself is very lightweight and comfortable (if a bit snug on our cheeks), but HJC sells alternative cheek pad thicknesses to suit different shaped faces. The visor is anti-fog and scratch-resistant, providing 95 per cent UV protection and is Pinlock ready. It's secured with HJC's RapidFire Replacement System, which means the visor can be replaced easily. There's a micro buckle adjustment strap too, which is very easy to use even with gloves on.
Bell Qualifier DLX
The Qualifier DLX is packed with great features at an entry-level price. The transitions adaptive visor (not Pinlock ready) is an automatic tint adjuster which adapts to light conditions so you don't have to carry sunglasses around with you. The helmet also features an adjustable ventilation system, a lightweight polycarbonate shell and is fairly aerodynamic (so you won't get too much buffeting).
It's a very good choice for introductory riders, or motorcyclists looking to get a ton of bang for their buck, especially if you like the Devil May Care graphics. Aside from lack of Pinlock, the main downside is the helmet's three-star SHARP safety rating.
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At the time of writing, the HJC IS-17 is less than £100 - making it excellent value for money. It's constructed from a polycarbonate shell, which makes it light and comfortable. There's a Pinlock sun visor supplied and ventilation is good compared to the IS-16, but sometimes a bit too much air gets in under the chin - which can be irritating.
As is typical with HJC helmets, the fit is fairly round - which means that someone with an oval head might not find it that comfortable. Interior lining is removable to make washing easier and the IS-17 has a five-star SHARP safety rating, which is a big plus. The value this helmet is obvious when you compare it to other five-star SHARP rated helmet. There are also loads of graphics and colour options to choose from in the range, but the gloss black model we've linked to below is the cheapest.
The S900 benefits from a four-star SHARP safety rating, an anti-fog and anti-scratch visor, and fully removable interior microfibre lining. There's little wind noise with this lid, which is surprising considering the price, and the quick-release Microlock chinstrap makes taking it off with gloves easy enough.
Airflow is good due to the vents on the chin, top and back of the helmet - so you head won't get too hot in summer. A Pinlock visor insert is included. In terms of comfort, safety and quality - the S900 is definitely one of the best value for money helmets.
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Scorpion EXO Combat
Scorpion's EXO Combat is easily one of the most interestingly styled helmets in this list, which can be chalked down to the fact that the chin guard is removable. That's right, the EXO Combat is basically an open face helmet. The removable chin guard is made of a rubbery material that can protect against wind and debris but won't offer any impact protection. The neck roll can also be removed to turn the helmet into a half helmet.
Inside this sinister looking helmet, there's a KwikWick2, removable, machine washable interior lining. The sun visor works well and moves up and down easily, folding into the helmet so you can't see it when it's up. The visor is also fully removable, but the Combat doesn't come with a clear visor. It can be a tad noisy, and it isn't as safe as a proper full face helmet, but it's a three-in-one helmet for around £150.
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As the name Icon would suggest, the Airflite helmet does things a bit differently than other helmets. Aside from being available in bonkers graphics, like the Good Fortune option, the visor is longer than most and clips onto the bottom of the chin guard. It's made of a polycarbonate shell and features an internal sun visor inside. It isn't Pinlock ready, which is a shame, although it offers its own anti-fog treatment. The wide visor does give an excellent, wide field of vision though.
The aggressive styling extends to the air vents, which there are plenty of. Air flow is good, but there is noticeable wind noise. Nothing that earplugs won't fix, but something to consider if you're on your bike a lot. The inside of the Airflite is comfortable with a removable Hydradry Moisture Wicking Liner to keep things cool. It's an intermediate oval shape with slightly shorter length with wider sides and has a sculpted neckline so your jacket doesn't sit awkwardly against the bottom of the helmet.
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The Skwal has an integrated sun visor, two air vents, a Pinlock-ready main visor and a washable, removable lining. The Skwal’s party trick is its built-in lighting system, with two green LEDs front and rear. These can be switched on and off with a waterproof button on the base of the helmet that can be operated easily with gloves. They provide a little more nighttime visibility, or just to look good if that’s your cup of tea.
It has a four-star SHARP safety rating and includes all the features most riders demand. It’s not the quietest helmet for long touring trips, but for B-roads and town riding it’s ideal. It’s also comfortable for glasses wearers and it has some nice extra features, including preparation for Shark’s Bluetooth system.
The Nolan N87, like most helmets in this list, has a polycarbonate shell. It has a very decent four out of five star SHARP safety rating, comes with a drop-down sun visor and features a wide visor with Pinlock Max Vision insert. The safety features like anti-fog Pinlock insert and high safety rating make the N87 a good choice for new riders who want a lot of value for money. It's definitely a case of substance over style though, considering its looks could be considered a bit dull.
The helmet features a chin vent and two forehead vents, which are easy to operate even with gloves on. The interior is comfortable, with the moisture-wicking interior being fully removable and washable. The sun visor is dark enough to actually prevent glare, which isn't always the case, and glasses wearers won't struggle with the stems pushing into their head as the helmet has an 'adaptive eyewear system'.
Scorpion EXO-510 Air
The Scorpion EXO 510 is the second Scorpion in our top 10, and for good reason. The helmet is designed to suit a wide variety of riders, regardless of whether you’re touring, commuting or tearing around country roads on a sportbike. It isn't quite as aerodynamic as the AGV K-3 SV, so it's a tad noisy, but the ventilation pulls in a lot of air to keep you cool.
The helmet is Pinlock Max Vision ready and it's designed for riders with longer, narrower heads (intermediate oval, like the Icon Airflite). It comes in three shell sizes, so you're likely to find a size that fits you properly, and there's a groove to prevent glasses digging into the side of your head.
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